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Home » Essential Empy & June 2006 Game CommentsJune 2006 » Renascence

Renascence

Game 74: June 27, 2006
Mets (47-29), 4
Red Sox (46-28), 9

L: Alay Soler (2-2)
W: Jon Lester (3-0)

Two years ago rendered 20 years ago, 31 years ago, 39 years ago, and 60 years ago painless.

Two years ago helped us recognize a remarkable set of players throughout the decades, striking mute the litany of failure and putting in its place a rapprochement of teams that could have been with the fans who almost had.

Three years ago Bill Buckner meant E3. Two years ago Buckner meant 22 years of major league service, a 22-season career of .289 batting, .321 OBP, .408 slugging, 2,715 hits, and 174 home runs. And last night it meant a standing ovation at Fenway Park rather than mislaid scorn.

Joe Castiglione was the emcee for the ceremony celebrating the 1986 American League champion team. More succinctly than I Castiglione noted that 2004 enabled Red Sox fans to acknowledge their history in a positive way. “For those who had come before, for those who had come so close.”

Several members of that team were not able to make it: John McNamara, Dave Henderson, Roger Clemens (who was starting for the Astros), Rich Gedman, Bob Stanley, and Buckner. Castiglione made special care to note that the former first baseman was always welcome to return to Fenway.

Those who were there in person: Lou Gorman, Marty Barrett, Oil Can Boyd, Steve Crawford, Pat Dodson, Walt Hriniak (hitting coach), Bruce Hurst, Tim Lollar, Joe Morgan (not that one, of course), Al Nipper, Spike Owen, Ed Romero, Joe Sambito, Calvin Schiraldi, Dave Stapleton, Mike Stenhouse, Marc Sullivan, La Schelle Tarver, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, and Wade Boggs (who, it shall be noted, wore his New York Yankees World Series ring). Time’s passing has plucked a few hairs and added a couple of inches to waistlines, an amusing counterpoint to the scenes from their near-triumphant season played on the screen

The seven ages of man were surmised in the park’s panorama: infants and children in the stands, rookies Alay Soler and Jon Lester on the mound, battle-weary veterans like Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek soldiering on, umpires acting the judge, along with older umpires representing the aged buffoon, and even older fans who can just barely recall those long-gone teams, but now with something more than mere yearning.

Twenty years from now the details of this game will fade from my memory. But for far longer than twenty years I will remember this ceremony, and how one of my inspirations, Peter Gammons, was stricken by a brain aneurysm on that very day.

This game of baseball can be appreciated on levels grandiose to minuscule, but the importance of games pale in the light of struggling for one’s life. If thoughts and well wishes can speed recovery, all of mine go to Groton’s own Baseball Hall of Fame journalist. Get well, Mr. Gammons.

Comments

The best entry I have seen since I started reading. It was kind of hard to focus on the game with Gammons on mind and the ceremony fresh on the mind as well but once I saw them putting the hits out and knocking Soler around I was into game mode. Get well Peter G. RedSoxNation wishes you well.

Thanks, Therron. The ceremony was moving despite being marred by Boggs's Yankee bling.

For fun, here are the notes that I took during the game. These would form the basis for my typical game post.

top 1st: Jon Lester picked off Carlos Beltran

bottom 1st: Kevin Youkilis hit far enough to short hop the center field wall; Beltran gave up too quickly
Bases loaded with two out. Jason Varitek drove in two runs with a liner to shallow right.

top 2nd: Carlos Delgado HR
Wade Boggs reminisced. Superstition of having to play catch with Scooter (Remy)

bottom 2nd: Alex Gonzalez double off the scoreboard; bad throw by Lastings Milledge
Mark Loretta RBI single up the middle; ten-game hit streak

top 4th: Loretta just missed Paul LoDuca soft line drive over his head
Lester loaded the bases by walking David Wright, one out
Force at home then strike out

Bruce Hurst interview: struck Cal Ripkin out in the longest game. Remy compared Lester to Hurst

bottom 4nd: Loretta two-out bouncing haphazardly off the scoreboard
Oritz BB
Milledge couldn't come up up with a flyball off the bat of Ramirez; two runs scored. Ball buffeted by the wind.

top 5th: Mike Lowell tossed to Loretta who had the ball fly out of his hand in his haste. No error; cannot assume the double play; got force at second, though.
Gonzalez ranged deep in the hole on LoDuca's grounder, into Lowell's territory.
Reyes out at home and injured. Ramirez's third outfield assist.
Bases loaded again, this time with two outs. Lester stayed in to face David Wright and struck out.

bottom 5th: Lowell roundtripper off the Coke bottles
Gonzalez two-run homer over the Monster

top 6th: Julian Tavarez

top 7th: Beltran homer into the center field bleachers

top 8th: Craig Hansen
Xavier Nady homer into first row of the Monster seats

bottom 8th: Ortiz single to right and Ramirez followed up with a grounder that bounced off the glove of the diving shortstop into shallow left.
Gabe Kapler got RBI single. Kid with a Met hat interferred with the play.

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